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Can I get a critique on my reel.


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#1 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 05:56 PM

Well since Bryan Fowler is just below me there asking for a critique I'm hoping I can get a critique or two for a reel I just cut. 1:30 there about, short and simple. This is not all the stuff I have shot just what I think should be in there. I just did a short on 16mm but don't have the footage yet. Anyway, thanks for any advice.
Cheers.
http://www.douglasjo.../steadicam.html
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#2 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 12:20 PM

Maybe I put this in the wrong forum.
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#3 Robert Wall

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 12:57 PM

Doug, I think it maybe belongs in "general."

First off, the 2 things that strike me without going into the operating: 1, that shot opening of you operating should go. Let's see your operating, not you operating, because that's what counts. 2: using the Tragically Hip song - you've got to balance wanting a cool song with using copyrighted material to try to sell yourself to people who make their living creating content. Some might be cool with it, many would not and you'd have lost yourself a job right away. Straight up, it's not legal; that said, a million people do it, and for much more commercial content than a reel - that doesn't make it right and again, you're trying to sell to people who think about this issue.
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#4 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 01:36 PM

Thanks Robert.
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#5 Amando Crespo

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 09:22 PM

Hi mate.
What sled did you used for your reel?
Thanks. :)
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#6 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:44 AM

Hey Amando,
I started with a FLYER LE but now I have what you would call a custom/homebuild. You can see pics of my rig on my site if you want. The Soccer game and the two young men walk and talk was shot with the latter. The full on sprint through the woods was with the FLYER LE.

Just to add, I completely agree with you Robert about the music. Therefore I am taking all the music from all of my reels. I know about the attention span of any given producer or potential client, usually 30 seconds. Like a commercial, ya gotta grab'em quick. I am re-cutting right now. It can be a hard thing to edit your own work.

I recently received a copy of a web commercial that I shot almost completely on stedicam. As soon as the D.O.P was comfortable with my operating ability we left the camera, a 5D, on the sled for 99% of the shoot. I am going to cut that in now. I also just finished a short that was shot on film and here again as soon as the D.O.P got comfy with me he really wanted to go steady with me:) I have not gotten that footage yet but the director said as soon as he is finished the cut I can have whatever I want, and I think I have a job when he goes to do his feature.

Thanks again to any and all critiques. Please be honest and as objective as possible. I won't take offense.
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#7 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 03:48 PM

Douglas,

Some good operating there. My two cents....

The first shot of running in the woods needs to go. It has a wonky horizon (not off far enough to play as intentional). I’d just keep the second and third shots.

Woman in hat: the first shot looks a bit like a practice shot, but is decent operating. The second shot coming up the stairs is bouncy and not up to “demo reel” quality operating. It also tends to confirm the sequence as a practice shot. You may feel you need a stairs shot but this one doesn’t showcase your operating, it’s better to have no stairs shot than a weak stairs shot. Or go shoot another one.

Low mode soccer match: good operating but the shot is spoiled by your shadow which briefly appears a few seconds in. I’d start the shot after the shadow, or break it up into two shots, cutting out the moment where the shadow appears. It’s also stronger than the woman in the hat, so I’d put it before her shot.

Two guys walking and talking: solid operating, but I’d consider some color correction to give the shots more punch.

Editing: generally I’d just use straight cuts or fades out/fade ins. Keep it simple, avoid gimmicks. The hard cuts to a second of black and then back up are distracting, especially when you come back to another shot that is obviously from the same project. Music: taking it out completely isn't the answer. use non-intrusive, medium energy, instrumental royalty-free stock music.

Good to hear you have fresh footage. Your reel needs more variety and it sounds like you can address that.

My philosophy is that your reel is for two audiences: producers (who may not know the difference between good, bad and indifferent operating) and directors and DP's (who probably do.)

To producers, your reel says "look, I do these kinds of projects (and/or this budget level, these famous actors, etc.)
".
To directors and DP's it says, "look at the kinds of shots I can execute well. I know what a good Steadicam shot looks like and I can pull it off, in a variety of situations".

To both it says: "you can trust me to deliver".

So it's a balance of including a wide variety of projects and shots, but no shots that are obviously weak or mistakes.

Hope this is helpful.
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#8 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 06:51 PM

Very helpful Mark, thank you. Sure about the music? I have heard not only from people here that producers/clients will and do turn the sound off when viewing reels. Now I am on the fence.
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#9 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:26 PM

I'd be curious as to others' opinions. I personally favor some music, as long as it's not intrusive and not familiar. But I have a background in radio and my perspective may be skewed.
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#10 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:17 PM

OK, so I have re edited my reel, no sound. And I have added in some other shots. What do you think?
http://www.douglasjo.../steadicam.html
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#11 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:22 PM

When I follow the link the old reel comes up...

OK, so I have re edited my reel, no sound. And I have added in some other shots. What do you think?
http://www.douglasjo.../steadicam.html


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#12 Douglas John Kropla

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:27 PM

Hey Mark,
you gotta clear your cache I think? That is the new reel with the cuts and extra material. I left in the running shot through the woods as I feel it is a great running/sprint shot. Anyway, the link works for me, I clear my cache end of every session. Also there is no music, just beautiful shots:)
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